THT 10 years ago: Cabinet passes draft to amend Citizenship Act

Kathmandu, September 6, 2006

The Cabinet today passed the draft drawn up to amend Citizenship Act-1963. It will now be presented in the House of Representatives for necessary debate before it is passed.

The move can be linked to the demands being stressed by the Nepal Sadhbhavana Party (Anandi), insisting on suitable changes in the current arrangement before an election to a constituent assembly. “The Cabinet has passed the bill.

The cut off date for eligibility is April 15, 1989,” Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Pradeep Gyawali told reporters after the meeting. Once the parliament passes the bill, anyone who can establish the fact that he was eligible for Nepali citizenship on the cut off day will be awarded the citizenship status.

He also said that the Cabinet has suggested tough punishment for anyone who tries to or helps anyone secure the citizenship papers through fraudulent means and documents.

In yet another significant decision, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala told the government talks team to work out possible schedule of summit meeting between the team led by Prachanda and Koirala himself.

However, Minister Gyawali was silent on why the government has not yet formed a summit talks team comprising top leaders amid speculations that top team comprises seven-party leaders and the government talks team which adds up to 10.

The minister made it clear that Koirala has debunked claims the government was not keen to go for an election to a constituent assembly.

House panel axes King’s powers to issue fiat for enacting new Acts

The Parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) today decided to scrap Clause 2 and other Clauses in a bill on public document authentication, thereby curtailing King’s power to issue any orders for enacting new Acts, Regulations and government decisions.

Once the bill gets through the House of Representatives (HoR), any person appointed by the Nepal government would enjoy the authority of authenticating public documents, which means the technical difficulties in the issue of appointment of ambassadors would also be resolved once the bill in question is turned into an Act.

“Scrapping of the clause has scrapped all powers vested in the King.

The government-appointed person would have the rights even to receive credentials of foreign diplomats,” said Hirdaya Ram Thani, the SAC chairman. Such a person, according to him, could be the Prime Minister, Chief Secretary or the Speaker of the HoR.

After five consecutive meetings, the SAC decided to remove Clause 2 because it had used the phrase, ‘His Majesty’, which, according to lawmakers, “was against the spirit of the declaration of the HoR”.